Saturday, 2 January 2016

Part VII of the NZ road trip: South Island - Charlie and Jess' Wedding

The timing of my travels were coordinated around being in Wanaka for Charlie and Jess's wedding.  To say I was excited would be an understatement. I have always had a lot of time for both Charlie and Jess, and being invited to be a part of their special day was an event that I had been looking forward to for weeks.  This is the lovely couple just before the festivities kicked off.

To kick start the festivities, we had Jess's hens party - which involved lots of shopping and lots of wineries! Who could have planned a better hens party in NZ? The sun was out, the wine was flowing and old friends were catching up and helping Jess celebrate her final days as a "single" woman.  She was positively glowing is what I can remember!

The wineries were stunning - and I became quiet a fan of Aimsfield - particularly their 2010 Pinot!  We had a stunning lunch at one winery (the name now escapes me, but they did do a lovely Rose from memory) and then the girls polished off a wine tasting platter or two at Aimsfield.

The lady of the day!
Looking stunning in a crown and a massive sun hat!

The views were spectacular from Aimsfield - seriously, I could live here!

A rather enjoyable drop...

The girls enjoying the fruits of Aimsfield

The views from the first winery were amazing - and the scarecrows an entertaining touch - apparently they are not for our entertainment though and are intended to keep the birds off the vines, I love it!

A beautifully present antipasti platter - probably the best I had all trip! Beautiful!

Princess Jess - the title suited her!

I was rooming with Susan at the wedding hotel, and we decided to get the cobswebs out the morning after the hens party by taking a little walk along Lake Wanaka - and opening another bottle of glorious wine.  It was great to get to spend some quality time with Susan, as it had been a while since she left Guernsey and we had plenty to catchup on!

Susan and I were invited to spend time with the wedding couple and their family the evening before the wedding and we were treated to a special few hours with Charlie and Jess as we got to spend some of their last hours as Moore and Williams.  As Susan and I were staying at the same hotel as Charlie, when Jess needed to retire for her beauty sleep, we hung out with the man of the hour and his mum, reminiscing over happy times and getting ready for what was going to be an amazing wedding.

The wedding day started with some beautiful sun, a lovely breakfast and offering our services to the wedding party as they readied themselves for the wedding.  Susan was MC and so had some chores to do in the morning - it also meant we got to get sneak peaks of the wedding reception venue and help where we could with any finishing touches.  It looked AMAZING!

Finally, it was time for the wedding we had all been waiting for. The ceremony was being held in a very unique modern church that had a wonderful appeal to it - with massive glass windows creating a sense of space and magic.

Charlie boy was looking nervous but very smart.  Jess was absolutely stunning as she walked down the aisle and her beauty radiated throughout the church. She had picked a dress that was absolutely her and she looked out of this world. So classy and elegant, simple in its beauty The ceremony ended with a kiss by the newly married Mr and Mrs Moore and cheers from the crowd. Finally, our two friends had tied the knot! It was very special to be a part of their day - I was honoured to be there.

Jess and Charlie headed off for some photo time in a stunning red cadillac whilst we headed back to the reception to help Susan get ready to MC and welcome the bridal party back to the celebrations!

This is how Charlie and Jess arrived to the wedding reception...yes, it is a helicopter!!!! They had just been to have their wedding photos on top of the glacier! Oh my hat - now those will be EPIC wedding photos!!

Now, it was time to party - and with one of the most wonderful views over Lake Wanaka, with the mountains and glaciers in the background - we took it upon ourselves to help the new Mr and Mrs Moore celebrate their marriage in style! Of course, the wine was exceptional - we would expect nothing else from Charlie and Jess - they were our wine buddies in Guernsey and enjoy a fine drop. I knew that whatever they served on their wedding day would be an experience and I was not disappointed! The atmosphere was fun filled and relaxed and the dance floor went off once the formalities had been completed.  It was a night not to be forgotten and it was really special to see our two friends become one in their home country.

What a night!

The following day, a little dusty, we enjoyed a final breakfast and I had to say goodbye to my old friends.  I was so grateful that I was able to plan my travels so that I could be NZ for their wedding and it was an experience that will always be with me.  Seeing Charlie and Jess - our friends who had been friends and then lovers for so long - who are so well suited and so easily in love - finally make the formal commitment to each other and to tie the knot in such a special and breathtaking location - made this experience all the more special. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.

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